Colorado native Neil Gorsuch confirmed by Senate to Supreme Court

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch speaks during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Gorsuch's confirmation as the 113th Supreme Court justice is expected on April 7. It won't be long

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch speaks during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Gorsuch's confirmation as the 113th Supreme Court justice is expected on April 7. It won't be long

The appeals court judge from Colorado was President Trump's first Supreme Court nominee and will fill the seat that became vacant when Justice Antonin Scalia died in February of 2016.

The move comes in the wake of a contentious battle this week in the Senate over the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch when the Republicans who control the chamber used the "nuclear option" to neutralize the filibuster for nominees to the Supreme Court.

More broadly, Democrats remain furious that Republicans under McConnell's leadership blocked consideration of former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland, in turn allowing Trump to nominate Gorsuch.

As Justice, Gorsuch's vote could prove most critical in the case of Citizens United and various human rights decisions.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a senior Republican, warned of the implications of lowering the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees, thereby eliminating any role for the minority party in ratifying the selection. By late spring or early summer, the court might be asked to consider President Donald Trump's proposed ban on visitors from six majority Muslim countries. It took Harrison a month to decline the post, partly because of poor health, according to the "Documentary History of the Supreme Court". Ed Markey, D-Mass. "We now have a radical right-wing justice on the Supreme Court". Republicans blocked Barack Obama from filling the seat all past year. His administration also has faced questions about any role the president's associates may have played in alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election to help Trump. "As a deep believer in the rule of law, Judge Gorsuch will serve the American people with distinction".

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge praised the confirmation in a statement released shortly after the vote.

The goal, he said, is to see if senators can figure out a way to promote more bipartisanship in a body where the two parties barely work together at all anymore.

The vote broke down largely on party lines.

The rule change was dubbed the "nuclear option" because it was considered an extreme break from Senate tradition.

Gorsuch will be sworn in Monday and will quickly begin confronting cases of outcome, including one involving separation of church and state that the justices will take up in less than two weeks.

Gorsuch, a well-respected, conservative legal star with a traditional background, won Senate approval on Friday (Saturday NZ Time), serving as a testament to the power of well-organised establishment Republican forces and a reminder of the ability of judicial fights to unite Republicans.

Donnelly, Manchin and Heitkamp voted in favor.

First Democrats mounted a filibuster, denying Gorsuch the 60 votes needed to advance to a final vote.

Gorsuch will be taking his seat on the Supreme Court later this month.

Why is there a new Supreme Court judge?

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